Folding fan. Chromolithographed paper leaf with scenes of bullfighting and a bust profile of a man identified as "RAFAEL GUERRA GUERRITA". Printed inscription on leaf, lower right: "'LAGARTIJO' DANDO LA ALTERNATIVA A GUERRITA / 29 DE SBRE 1887. MADRID." Printed inscription, lower left: "`GUERRITA' BANDERILLANDO." The printed design is accented with applied metallic glitter. Wood sticks with hand-painted gold design. One guardstick is inscribed "COSTUMBRES" and the other is inscribed "ESPANOLAS." Made in Spain for the tourist market.
(Keywords: Fashion, Accessory, European, Commemorative, Souvenir, Gilded Age)
|Ownership and History||
This souvenir fan commemorates Rafael Guerra (1862-1941), a famous bullfighter from Cordoba, Spain. It marks his alternativa, the ceremony in which he graduated from a novillero (apprentice matador) to a professional matador. He is seen receiving the sword of veteran matador Rafael Molina, known as "Lagartijo."
Bullfighting has a long tradition in Spanish culture. These spectacles, which might be perceived as sport, performance art, or entertainment business, were sometimes attended by Americans traveling in Europe during the late nineteenth century. The idea that fans were special and a bit exotic, combined with their usefulness as cooling devices, made them ideal souvenirs of trips or major events.
|Lexicon Sub-category||Personal Gear|
|Support Acknowledgment||Online Collections Database record made possible by the Fan Association of North America (FANA), 2011. (www.fanassociation.org)|
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